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What is being done with open government data?

December 06, 2016 by Karen Okamoto

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In 2012, New York City Council passed legislation to make government data open and freely available to the public. By approving this legislation, City Council was attempting to make local government more transparent, accountable, and streamlined in its operations. It was also attempting to create economic opportunities and to encourage the public to identify ways in which to improve government and local communities. The purpose of this study is to explore public uses of New York City open data. Currently, more than 1300 datasets covering broad areas such as health, education, transportation, public safety, housing and business are available on the City’s Open Data Portal. This study found a plethora of maps, visualizations, tools, apps and analyses made by the public using New York City open data. Indeed, open data is inspiring a productive range of creative reuses yet questions remain concerning how useable the data is for users without technical skills and resources.